Sweating for Life, Not Just for the Wedding
Author: Meriden Peters, Cincy State of Being
My dating career started in the fourth grade. Thanks to a colossal redistrict, I’d just switched schools and my unfamiliar face, freshly cut bangs, and new Jansport backpack made me a hot commodity for the gentlemen at Evening Street Elementary. Retrospectively, I think I really hit my dating prime that year. As an aside, I’d like to take a quick moment to recognize the kid that brought me a dozen roses to school at age 10. You don’t have Facebook so I can’t tell, but I bet you’re doing big things.
I am now 30. That means I’ve spent a good two decades of my life, “dating.” Sure, I wasn’t looking for a life partner at age 10, but I did play spin the bottle a few times, and wrote a killer love letter on looseleaf. So, let’s call it 15 years of actually dating. 15 years of swooning, scheming, planning, over analyzing, social media stalking, breaking up, making up, dumping, being dumped, blind dates, first dates, last dates. And NOW, I’m getting married. I met someone who I like, who likes me back, and reminds me to pay my Chase bill on time. If that’s not marriage material, I don’t know what is. So, in this moment of premarital bliss, you’d think that our society would patting me on the back and giving me an effing high five. But, instead, you know what I've been hearing? “Congrats on that proposal. What are you going to do to look better for the big day? What are you going to do to change your body? How will you get skinnier? What’s your wedding diet?” In summation, you’re not good enough the way you are.
Of course, I want to look good in my wedding pictures. But more importantly on the day of my wedding, as I embark on a new chapter of my life, I want to FEEL good. I want to feel healthy, happy, and strong. I want to be in great mental and physical health. I want to be nice to those around me because I’m not hangry. For this reason, I’ve been really weary of bridal bootcamps and slim down programs suggesting that as a bride I need to make drastic changes.
Kristen who owns It’s Working Out speaks my same language. She suggested Molly and I workout with her for the month of May (the month leading up to my wedding). But instead of viewing this month of a new type of physical activity as a punishment for not being good enough or as a means to be skinnier, she suggested we embark on this process with her as a stress release, as something to help us feel healthier, as an outlet during this super busy time. We agreed to this “Bridal Bootcamp” with IWO because it makes us feel good. And this is true all the time, not just because my wedding is coming.
Of course doing a new workout consistently (in this case rowing and TRX) will have effects on our bodies and that’s exciting. It’s exciting because the types of changes I’m seeing even after just two weeks at IWO are empowering. I'm seeing better posture, stronger triceps, and increased definition in my legs. All changes that make me feel healthy and strong. Kristen has held me accountable, emailing and texting me to remind me to make time to show up to class. Having this cheerleader and coach reminding me to take time to be healthy and kind to my body right now has been invaluable. And after every workout I leave feeling more centered, less foggy, and more focused on what I need to get done.
It’s easy to get caught up in societal pressures to be stick skinny for your wedding. Believe me, my mind has gone there quite a few times. But with the help of IWO I’m focusing on being strong and healthy for my wedding. Because first of all, I don’t need to look differently than I do for someone to love me. And secondly, I’ll need strength and energy I can get to stay on that dance floor all night long!